Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign starts off with vampires infecting people over 13 with a virus and killing them off. With the adults gone, the vampires take the children into their “protection” and use them as livestock to feed on. Four years later, Yuichiro, Mikaela, and the other kids from their orphanage try to escape from the vampires. However, Yuichiro is the only one who succeeds. Yuichiro is found by Lieutenant Colonel Guren of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army and is offered a chance to join them so he can kill vampires and get his revenge. It’s also revealed that humanity wasn’t exterminated like the vampires had told Yuichiro. Instead, the world’s population was reduced to 1/10. Also, thanks to the Trumpets of the Apocalypse, weird creatures began roaming the earth.
Four more years have passed, and Yuichiro is a recruit in the Japanese Imperial Demon Army. Unfortunately, he’s so impatient to become part of the Vampire Extermination Unit that he disobeys orders when he’s told to leave during an attack by one of the weird creatures. Yuichiro also puts on an attitude at school after he’s suspended by the army for violating an order. At this point, Yuichiro is definitely not a team player, is not interested in making friends, and all he thinks about is getting his revenge on the vampires.
Unfortunately for Yuichiro, it turns out that the girl who sits behind him in class is Shinoa Hiragi, an army surveillance officer. She’s there to watch him and report any uncooperative behavior to Lieutenant Colonel Guren. Shinoa also informs Yuichiro that his suspension will continue until he can make a friend. Considering Yuichiro’s defiance about trying to make friends, it appears that he may end up on suspension forever. Shinoa sticks to Yuichiro like glue for most of the episode.
I’ve read some of the manga prior to watching this series, and I was rather surprised to hear how soft Shinoa’s voice was. When reading the manga, I’d envisioned Shinoa having a stronger voice than what I heard in the anime. I got used to Shinoa’s voice by the end of the episode, though, so I guess it worked out in the end.
Yuichiro and Shinoa come across a boy named Yoichi who is being bullied by three other boys. At first, Yuichiro wants nothing to do with it, but after hearing Yoichi being referred to as “livestock,” Yuichiro gets involved. Unfortunately, he learns after challenging the bullies to a fight that attacking a civilian means that his suspension could be extended. But before Yuichiro can throw a punch, one of the bullies gets him and forces both Yuichiro and Yoichi to serve as his “errand boys.”
But then a vampire from a nearby research facility escapes and comes to the school to try to find some blood to feed on in order to become stronger. Through this event, Yuichiro tries to take on the escaped vampire by himself but ends up learning an important lesson about friendship instead.
I have to admit that I get a little frustrated with how similar Yuichiro amd Yoichi’s names can look when reading the manga or reading the anime’s subtitles. Because of this similarity, I tend to forget Yoichi’s name when I’m reading the manga. This isn’t a complaint about the anime, since the writers for it had no control over the characters’ name. It’s just a complaint that stems from the original source material.
Fortunately, my complaint about the names is the only real thing I had to complain about in Episode Two. I thought this episode did a great job of establishing Yuichiro as he is four years after his escape from the vampires, as well as introducing Yoichi and Shinoa. Episode Two ultimately lays the foundation for the team that will be formed between these three characters. And when I compared the manga and anime tellings of this portion of the story, I only saw one minor thing that was left out of the anime when Yuichiro is heading off to fight the vampire, but it really didn’t have a major impact on the story. Instead of being told by a fellow student where the vampire is, Yuichiro hears a girl’s scream that leads him to the classroom.
I expect Episode Three will focus on Yuichiro, Shinoa, and Yoichi trying to become a team and work together.
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